Reading boss makes bizarre FA Cup admission as side secure tie against Sheffield United

Reading earned an FA Cup fifth round tie against Sheffield United on Tuesday evening, as they came from two goals down to eventually triumph on penalties against Cardiff City.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 11:00 am
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Speaking after the match, via the Evening Express, Royals boss Mark Bowen gave a surprising insight into his pre-shootout team talk. He claimed: "I actually said to them at the final whistle – and this might sound a bit strange – I genuinely don’t care if we win or lose.

"We showed a lot of character and heart in the second half. We had a few harsh words at half-time, we let Cardiff play and dominate us. But we affected the game second half."

The 56-year-old old continued: "They got to that stage where they were all winners, anything can happen on penalties. If we had lost on penalties it wouldn’t have changed my opinions of my players. No pressure, just strike it true. If we win, we win – and we did.”

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Evidently, Bowen's reverse psychology approach worked the magic, and the club are now one step away from their third FA Cup quarter-final in five years.

The coach concluded: “They got to that stage where they were all winners, anything can happen on penalties. If we’d lost on penalties it wouldn’t have changed my opinions of my players. No pressure, just strike it true. If we win, we win – and we did.”

Sheffield United should be confident heading into their clash against the Royals, having lost just once in their last ten meetings.